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Tips Johannesburg, South Africa

Written by DanielaZavala. Posted in Africa, Tips

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Published on September 08, 2011 with 4 Comments

Soweto Backpacker's Biking Tour

Also known as Joburg, Johannesburg is the capital and the largest city in South Africa. I visited Joburg on my way to Madagascar and stayed in Soweto, the most historical township of not only the city but also of the country. Soweto used to be a separate city from the late 1970s until the 1990s, mostly populated by native African working for the gold mining industry. This was a racially segregated area during the days of the apartheid regime, the home of South Africa’s greatest leaders and the birthplace of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM).

VISA: US, UK and Canadian passport holders do not need visa. There are several countries that are except but it is best to always double check what applies to you according to your nationality. Make sure you have at least three empty pages in your passport which should be valid for at least six months.

HOW TO GET THERE: O.R. Tambo International Airport is the largest and busiest airport in Africa and the South Africa.

TOURS: The city is huge; however you can still explore it independently. If you would like to do safaris, then a tour operator is recommended. For Soweto in particular, I strongly recommend the Biking tours from Soweto Backpackers (www.sowetobackpackers.com) because it goes beyond the surface and take you deep into the heart and soul of the township as well as the culture and the people of South Africa. You can take Soweto Biking tours even if you decide to stay somewhere else in the city.You can also check Ekala Eco Tours (www.ekala.co.za/tours.html ) Address: ‪Portion 81‬ Eikenhof 2053 Tel. +27 (0) 72 604 1879

WHERE TO STAY
• Soweto Backpackers (www.sowetobackpackers.com). Let Lebo, Maria and their team to be your host in your stay in Joburg. It is a budget hotel, but it is clean and well-run. The breakfast is generous and the meals are great. This hostel has a homey feeling and it gives you an opportunity to mingle with locals. They will go the extra mile to help you during your stay (including safaris, local tours and activities within the city). Not only that, this hostel is committed to help the local community so you are not only getting a close experience with the South Africa of today but also contributing with the local development. For more information, check their website. Address: 10823A Pooe Street. Orlando West. Soweto, 1804. Email: lebo@sowetobackpackers.co.za Tel.+27 (0)11 936 3444

• Life on 3rd ( www.lifeon3rd.co.za) A beautiful place and a great value (starting from US$50) for their very well equipped and nicely decorated rooms. Address: 28A 3rd Street‬ | Melville, Johannesburg ‪2190‬, South Africa‬. Tel. +27114825195

WHAT TO SEE AND DO
• Apartheid Museum (www.apartheidmuseum.org ): A must see. With informative and brutal facts about South Africa’s history. Address: Northern Parkway & Gold Reef Road. Ormonde.
• Highlights of Soweto: Workers’ hostel, Site of the 1976 student uprising, Hector Pieterson Memorial and Mandela’s former home. Check Soweto Backpacker for their biking tours.
• Pump up the adrenaline by visiting the Orlando Towers (www.orlandotowers.co.za ), an adventure center offering swinging, bungee jumping, climbing , abseiling, rap jumping, a zip line
• Planesberg Game Reserve (http://pilanesberggamereserve.com ) Two hours drive is this game park where you can see the Big 5.
• Lion Park (www.lion-park.com ) Have contact with the wildlife of South Africa in this park, including: lions, cheetahs, wildebeest and giraffe. Address: ‪Hans Strijdom (R512)‬ Honeydew Johannesburg 2194.
• The Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve (www.rhinolion.co.za ) Privately owned, this game reserve is situated in the “Cradle of Humankind”, a declared World Heritage Site, about 40 km north-west of Johannesburg. You can see and have direct contact with the beautiful white lions and see other endangered species such as the black rhino.

The Rhino and Lion Reserve

WHAT TO EAT
• Moyo (www.moyo.co.za ). Dishes of different parts of Africa. Address: Shop 5 The High Street‬ . Melrose Arch.‬ Tel. 086 100 6696
• The Afrodiasc (www.theafrodisiac.co.za) Address: ‪‪Cnr. Civin Drive and Linksfield Drive‬. Tel. +27 11 443-9990 |

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4 Comments

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